Why Chelsea's Summer Splurge Is Justified

This is a continuation (sort of) of one of my previous write-ups, “Is There Anything Wrong With Paying Large Sums Of Money For Transfers?”. Only this time, I won’t be insulting Arsene Wenger.

Back to the matter at hand… Chelsea’s summer splurge. So far, the club has bought Eden Hazard (£32M), Marko Marin (£7M) & Oscar Dos Santos (£19.5M). That’s a total of £58.5M on 3 players. I’m not even counting the Musonda brothers, or Eden’s younger brother Thorgan Hazard. But this extravagant spending is kind of like the early days of the Roman Abramovich era, isn’t it? Not really. There is one difference. All of the 3 players I mentioned are sensible, well thought out signings.

One of Chelsea’s main problems last season was a lack of squad depth. It was a problem that was highlighted all too often, but let me give you an example anyway. On 5th May 2012, Chelsea won their first trophy of the season, beating Liverpool 2-1 in the FA Cup final. 3 days later, Chelsea played Liverpool at Anfield in the Premier League. Chelsea fielded a playing XI that didn’t feature several first-team regulars. If we had decent squad depth, we could have beaten Liverpool again. It would have been fun to beat Liverpool twice in such a short span of time. Instead, we were hammered 4-1 & our hopes of a Top 4 finish in the Premier League were dashed.

The signing of Hazard, Marin & Oscar have not entirely solved our problems relating to quality squad depth. But it’s a massive step in the right direction. The club wants to solidify it’s status as one of the top teams not just in Europe, but in the world. Clearly, we want to prove to the world that last season’s Champions League win was not a fluke.

The importance of squad depth cannot be underestimated. Just look at Manchester City. I’ll be the first to admit that they have way too many players in their squad, but it did prove useful in the long run. While City were humbled in Europe (they didn’t make much of an impact in either the Champions League or the Europa League), they were able to constantly rotate their squad in the League matches, keeping the players relatively fresh. In stark contrast, some of Chelsea’s key players of last season were clearly fatigued towards the end of the season, most notably Juan Mata. If Chelsea want to establish themselves as the team to beat, we cannot let something like player fatigue be a problem.

Another reason that a summer splurge such as ours is understandable is that a bunch of players who were stars for Chelsea a few years back are either aging or have lost the ability to compete at the highest level (in a few cases, it’s a combination of both). There is an urgent need to sell some of these players (Florent Malouda is one name that comes to mind), but we needed replacements first.

That said, who are the players you would like to see us bring in (if any at all)? Do let me know.

Shayne Dias

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